back to article Spanish Linux group files antitrust complaint against Microsoft

A Spanish open source software users' association has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission, claiming that the company's implementation of UEFI Secure Boot stifles competition. Hispalinux, an 8,000-member organization that advocates for and facilitates Linux use in Spain, filed the …

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Re: @ mmeier

And what was keeping IBM from doing the same? Giving OS/2 away "for free"? Unlike MS they did NOT depend on the OS for revenues.

Why didn't Apple make the race? Or Atari / Commodore? Back when Win3.x (or even 95) became popular they still had OS and hardware that could compete both in power and (in case of Commodore/Atari) in price

Sorry but the old "MS was soooo evil" number simply does not work.

As for the rest - who cares. The commercial Unix (and Linux) systems will get signed and the rest is a tiny minority anyway

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Anonymous Coward

Secure Boot

Was insisted upon by MS to kill off boot loaders which circumvent their anti-piracy measures and is a handy DRM tool. It just happened that it gave them double jackpot in screwing over Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Secure Boot

"Was insisted upon by MS to kill off boot loaders which circumvent their anti-piracy measures and is a handy DRM tool. It just happened that it gave them double jackpot in screwing over Linux."

You can simply turn off secure boot to do that. Which if you are going to the considerable effort required to pirate and properly activate Windows 8 is a pretty minor task.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Secure Boot

1) Because they're not malicious actions, that's in your mind.

2) It annoys you and as you seem to enjoy deliberately annoying other people, I enjoy seeing you annoyed.

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Linux

Re: Secure Boot

This would truly be a case of the disease (e.g. Windows 8), being actually worse then the cure.

If I had to dig though that much muck to get a working Windows 8 install. I'd just give up and install some flavor of *buntu.... Oh wait I already have its called Mint and for Once I can truly say, that this is a Linux I can live with.

(Yeah I'm on XP again to clear up some crap with my *.m4p iTunes crap. it seems that nobody managed to port Requiem over to Linux. Probably 'cause you can't run iTunes in it. I guess I'm just sitting though the SP3 Install, just for old'times sake! Kinda pointless really. As I'll just park this HDD off and go back to my Main Drive which has Linux on it.

I just wished that I could've accessed my NAS and or USB Sticks under VirtualBox. Then i could've saved me this trip. Perhaps I'm still to noobish at this game....

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Re: Secure Boot

Okay, just between you, me, Bill an Steve - That is THE PLAN! Once everyone uses UEFI on their motherboards there is a big switch in Redmond that gets turned to "Kill all Penguins" and bam - all PCs world wide will only boot Windows! With Tiles!

But you can save your pc - just give him a lil tinfoil cover like the one you wear on your head

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Meh

The reason UEFI can be disabled for WIndows 8 and not for RT

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned the real reason Microsoft still allow secure boot to be turned off for Windows 8 Intel machines - it's *not* to allow Linux to be installed, it's to allow Windows 7 to be installed should the end-user "shockingly" decide that 7 is better than 8.

Proof of this? The ARM-based Windows RT has no predecessor to it in the Windows family, so that *does not* allow secure boot to be turned off. One suspects that once the supported Windows Intel family has all its keys available (by Windows 9?), then they will stop allowing secure boot to be turned off in future UEFI setups.

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Re: The reason UEFI can be disabled for WIndows 8 and not for RT

And why should the big hardware manufactures follow them? Even more the ones that do mainly mainboards not full systems? Or the companies that also sell servers sometimes even with their own (or licenced) UNIX on it?

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Re: The reason UEFI can be disabled for WIndows 8 and not for RT

> And why should the big hardware manufactures follow them?

Simple, money !

If you think MS aren't doing some nice deals on licensing based on the manufacturer bending to their will, think again. Of course, they'll be covert about it - but there will be some form of financial incentive. AT one time they simple were up front about it - "buy a cheap licence for *EVERY* computer you sell or buy them at a much higher price". Then there will be "sales and promotional" incentives. And of course, all the deals struck are private, so no-one knows how much the others are paying for their licences, but will have to negotiate their deal with Redmond. If you think that some "unofficial" and not written down terms aren't involved, then you don't know anything about big business.

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FAIL

I don't understand.

Why would anybody pollute a shiny new Windows 8 PC with a nix?

;-)

Just kidding.

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Childcatcher

Re: I don't understand.

I honestly at first wasn't really concerned with putting Linux on, I really was just wanting to dual-boot XP Pro 64 and Windows 8, but that is blocked from installing under UEFI as well. I was just using Grub2 as a easy way to pick bootloaders. I'm going to pine of that Windows XP File Explorer for years to come, I can feel it.

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Re: I don't understand.

Oh, a proper UNIX is totally acceptable use for good hardware. Solaris is a mighty fine and highly stable/performant server system. And some of the BSD variants are also nice and stable.

Now Linux, well Linux reminds me of the old joke where a Jew ask his Rabbi:

Rebbe, may I carry Dollar around on Sabbat - No my son

Rebbe, Deutschmark? - No way

Rebbe, Zloty? - Sure, the laws talk about money

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Coat

Its about time that Microsoft tell the EU to shove it and close down all of their European subsidaries. As a former MS employee in Europe, it's laughable that the EU uses Microsoft as a cash machine everytime they need a bail out. Where the hell does this "fine" money go? Propping up piss-arse economies no doubt. It wouldnt be overly difficult for EMEA operations to be run out of the US.

In relation to this group complaining about UEFI, other O/S's support UEFI too, including Linux and UEFI is simply the evolvement of BIOS.

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Mushroom

"It wouldnt be overly difficult for EMEA operations to be run out of the US."

To make money in Europe generally requires both competent employees, and a knowledge of geography than spans more than part of one country....both things that are much harder to find in the colonies.

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Anonymous Coward

@RedmondRoller

You seem to forget that very often it is US companies who complain to the EU.

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Mushroom

RedmondRoller.

I agree. Take it and go.

Then the EU can revoke copyright on the crap.

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Linux

Re: Wah Wah Wah

Why are the M$ shills always anonymous?

If as MacGyver says is true, then M$ tax one has paid is lost (assuming laptops).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wah Wah Wah

Oh FFS, the old Anonymous argument this time from "Billium" that most verifiable of names. You could also be RICHTO, one of Eadon's IDs (he's got at least two) and Anonymous Coward at the same time. For all anyone else knows I could be you replying to my mail.

I'll stop posting as an AC here when people like you start posting with your real name and stop accusing anyone who doesn't agree with you about something as being a shill.

Or is it I'll stop posting as AC as well as Billium? No-one knows. will I post an angry response to my mail under yet another name? Again, no-one knows. I may just claim to be anyone who replies to this mail, it makes no difference.

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Re: Wah Wah Wah

Actually, the MS shilltards are far more annoying than anything Eadon posts (or any of his alleged sock puppets). Proof of the AC shilltards being, well, retarded is the whole comment section for the article on Samsung's firmware doo-doo where booting Linux would brick a Sammy laptop. All of them saying "that's what happens to freetards".

Then someone made a PoC app that bricks the same laptop model from Windows, and the AC's go either quiet, or say "Will Eadon apologize now?"...

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Re: Wah Wah Wah

@billum: "If as MacGyver says is true, then M$ tax one has paid is lost (assuming laptops).

It's only "true" in the sense that XPx64 requires a legacy BIOS. If you have a UEFI laptop that doesn't support legacy BIOS emulation (or has it turned off), then naturally you can't boot XPx64 (or indeed any other earlier version of Windows). However UEFI devices that don't allow you to turn on BIOS emulation are pretty rare.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd like to see things be pushed the other way..

mandate that ALL devices sold must allow the user to run their own code, with full access to the hardware if the user wants to do so, no signing required.

Microsoft already made its intentions clear by requiring the ARM devices to be locked down with this, and it will find some way of strongarming the desktop market into doing the same if it can. Just because you can currently boot linux (with keys / signing provided by Microsoft....) doesn't mean you'll always be able to.

PS3 Linux already showed what happens if you give a big corp the keys to such a system, and that's what is in the process of being done with the PC. I really can't believe how naive people are being with the "it's ok, Microsoft signed our bootloader" viewpoint right now.

They're pushing too hard, we need laws on our side to push back, and maybe hurt them a little instead so I hope something good comes of this case.

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It's a much bigger issue actually

I mean think about mobile phones, once the support from the manufacturer runs out they become worthless and dangerous as you won't get any security updates.

We should start mandating open interfaces between the hardware and the operating system (e.g. BIOS) so we can continue to use those computers longer just like we do with PCs today.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a much bigger issue actually

That's like saying the doors to your house should be left open and instead of locks have your local community all looking out for each other.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a much bigger issue actually

@Christian Berger

What do you think UEFI is, if not an open interface between hardware and software. It's all published and if you take time to look at the companies involved, it's basically everyone who is anyone in IT.

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Re: I'd like to see things be pushed the other way..

Actually you can run any OS on a x86 box - simply switch secure boot (NOT UEFI!) off and thats it. Won't change with an MS Update since it is Bios not OS (Unlike the PS3 where Sony could update the "BIOS"(1))

Most ARM-devices are currently locked down. Try running an other OS on iOS hardware or the typical Android. If you do not like that - buy a Rasberry pi.

(1) Not that it really mattered. 99.8 percent of the users that ran "OtherOS" as the feature was correctly called did not use the PS3 as a game platform and never upgraded, The 0.2 percent PinguBoys that did "because I can" where making a LOT of noise but that's it. PS3 was neither powerful nor low power so the game box was rarely used as a NAS - cheaper maschines for that around

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Re: I'd like to see things be pushed the other way..

Just what exactly in your own opinion, counts as an "Other OS" on ARM exactly?

With the exception of Windows RT, I'm not personally aware of any "official" Microsoft Builds for ARM.

Certainly nothing that is in fact available.

ARM can run many OSs

BusyBox (as like on my NAS Box and Router)

Linux

BSD (as in iOS)

and Unix

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FAIL

@mmeier

"PS3 was neither powerful nor low power so the game box was rarely used as a NAS - cheaper maschines for that around"

PS3 *is* powerful thanks to the CellBE processor, and people actually using the OtherOS feature, like me, were actually monkeying around with the special features of said processor. Of course, most of those who dabbled with Linux on the PS3 were trying to run it as a regular NAS/Desktop box, which sucks given the low RAM specs on the box. But removing features like that is pretty much frowned upon. My original phat PS3 is still on 3.15 FW, I ended up buying another PS3 to play more recent games and have PSN access.

The irony is that Sony's boneheaded decision didn't hit the "nonmarket" ... it hit the crossover market of dudes like me who actually play games *and* tinker around with Linux. That made it a FAIL, which morphed into an EPIC FAIL as it energized enough crypto-geeks to crack the box.

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Re: @mmeier

Welcome to the 0.2 percent group. I am well aware that the processor had some interesting features and the PS3 was used for engineering/scientific tasks because of that, But as said

>Not that it really mattered. 99.8 percent of the users that ran "OtherOS" as the feature was correctly called did >not use the PS3 as a game platform and never upgraded

Those users did not care. They never needed/used the Sony upgrade anyway. The crossover-group was extremly small. Loud but small

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"By actively opposing Secure Boot, Hispalinux joins such organizations as the Free Software Foundation, which has lobbied OEMs to turn off the system by default and has urged consumers to boycott Windows 8 PCs."

It hardly needs these groups to be boycotting Window 8 from the result of the sale of the Surface they are doing that already

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Like I stated a few Posts above...

Microsoft it would seem are doing a splendid job of keeping People of Windows 8 by themselves, and need no further help from the like of the Free Software Foundation.

To the Micro-Shrills, before ya'all down-vote me in you knee-jerk reactionary flames. Just answer me One very simple question first.

If Microsofts vision of the TIFKAM is sSOo great and wonderful, why is it that no One outside of Redmond has picked up on it yet? Ok I think we can all agree that Tablet Lite (i.e. Windows RT), is a joke so we'll gloss over that for a sec. Perhaps they'll have more luck with all those Ultrabooks that we've been hearing so much about lately. Its hardly to be marvel at the fact that Windows Phone is the best selling Mobile OS EVER!!! with a Market share of only (and let us be generous here!) 3% outta the whole 100% spit between Google, and Apple.

Clearly the Public (e.g. The Joe Average who isn't paid off in Software, much less Money), are just to dim to grasp this "greatness" of yours, and simply want no tuck with it. Its time to face facts that Microsoft have finally lost the plot guys. Nobody with any sanity left to 'em will touch the TIFKAM. Office365 is doomed to utter failure. And most People are now slowly getting the hint that its time to move on.

Enjoy Windows XP for another Year, and kiss it goodbye. Windows 7 will be right behind it soon enough. If you really think Microsoft will win this game of "We'll shove TIFKAM down everyones Throat till they suck on it!" Is ever gonna work out for them, then you are even bigger idiots then the clearly certifiable inmates in Redmond.

No one who has been with Microsoft since Windows 95 (or before!), all the way up through Windows 7, is ever gonna accept Microsoft Office as a SaaS ONLY! And Tossing its entire User-base (i.e. Desktop w/Mouse & Keyboard), for the wonderful new World of touchy-feely is clearly also insane. How the Hell they plan on selling this shit to the Corporates is beyond my comprehension.

But, please if you must down vote, hit on some of these points will ya?

kthxbye!

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Three percent of WPhone? Wow - double the share Linux has on the desktop. So 2013 will be the year of WP8!

As for Win8 - we will see. Out since late Oktober, tablet pc with it are actually selling decently even without much advertisement. Companies do not pick it up (yet) since many have either just done the XP->W7 translation or are doing it this year. And for a company that is not a "long weekend" operation more a "long year" one.

Modern works. For everyone that does not wear blinds and instead actually TRIES the Win8 interface for an hour or two it works well, depending on usage better than Win7. Spend this week testing it with my elderly parents that will get new boxes(either Notebooks or Tablet-PC) in 2013. They liked it better than Win7 for their uses since they do not have to search in menues or dig out the desktop

Office365 is a "if you like it" - I don't. So when I upgraded to 2013 I got the standard office. I can see some uses and I can see some legal problems (Safe Harbour vs. Patriot act). If the legal probles are "solved" than companies that do not run their own IT department can get rid of the PFY "admin" and switch to O365 nicely. Say the estate agent or the local carpenter (German small/medium business use a "cloud" solution called DATEV for taxes/bookkeeping since the 1970s so more would not be too strange for them)

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joke's on you

"Three percent of WPhone? Wow - double the share Linux has on the desktop. So 2013 will be the year of WP8!"

What makes this attempt at humor actually funny is that MS has been *claiming* every year since WP7's release the "year that WinPhone will take over the world", yet remain irrelevant.

Modern/TIFKAM Metro sucks donkey balls and exactly zero organizations have taken in that flying dung. In fact, our clients (big organizations, financial sector) actually *stopped* buying new PCs, or added a mandatory requirement for any new PC to have Win7. Hell, some of them are still in the process of jumping from XP to Win7!

Yes, we've tried Win8. The last dude that was still defending Win8 gave up last month, reformatted his laptop and went back to Win7. I have yet to see someone in the real world actually like the Win8 stuff.

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The biggest benefit or Secure boot?

It disables the PFY that runs around trying to convice anybody to "use Linux", often by installing it on other peoples systems by using the Fosstard special argument "It's free!". Switch it on, set a password to the BIOS and no more urgent calls "I have this new OS on my system from <enter PFY name> and now <enter beloved software> does not run any more. You must come here (only 200+km and I had other plans for the weekend) to fix it". Okay, the PFY might try to run amok in frustration but out here in rural germany we are still nicely armed so that is not a problem either.

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Trollface

Secure Boot & Open Source

So once there are OEM's who want to sell computers that ship with and run some form of open source software (ohh maybe in another 50-100 years) then the creators can put in a secure boot signed by the os provider and be happy. Until you have a mainstream request for your software don't bother because the majority oft the computer buying public could not and would not run any form of open source os distribution on their home computer.

Enough said....

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Secure Boot Monopoly

With the excuse of malware injected in the DOS, Microsoft tries always to monopolize the market. Why computer manufacturers should follow them?

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